My friend, Cynthia, who lives in Detroit, sent me an interesting article about Facebook contacts. Has the site been infiltrated by the feds? I really don’t know and I don’t even want to hazard any conclusion on the same. Read excerpts of the quoted write-up below as written by Richard Lardner of Associated Press:
Careful: New Facebook friends might be the feds
BY RICHARD LARDNER
U.S. law enforcement agents are following the rest of the Internet world into popular social-networking services, going undercover with false online profiles to communicate with suspects and gather private information, according to an internal Justice Department document that offers a tantalizing glimpse of issues related to privacy and crime-fighting.
Think you know who’s behind that “friend” request? Think again. Your new “friend” just might be the FBI.
The document, obtained in a Freedom of Information Act lawsuit, makes clear that U.S. agents are already logging on surreptitiously to exchange messages with suspects, identify a target’s friends or relatives and browse private information such as postings, personal photographs and video clips.
Among other purposes: Investigators can check suspects’ alibis by comparing stories told to police with tweets sent at the same time about their whereabouts. Online photos from a suspicious spending spree — people posing with jewelry, guns or fancy cars — can link suspects or their friends to robberies or burglaries.
The Electronic Frontier Foundation, a San Francisco-based civil liberties group, obtained the Justice Department document when it sued the agency and five others in federal court. The 33-page document underscores the importance of social networking sites to U.S. authorities. The foundation said it would publish the document on its Web site on Tuesday.
With agents going undercover, state and local police coordinate their online activities with the Secret Service, FBI and other federal agencies in a strategy known as “deconfliction” to keep out of each other’s way.
“You could really mess up someone’s investigation because you’re investigating the same person and maybe doing things that are counterproductive to what another agency is doing,” said Detective Frank Dannahey of the Rocky Hill, Conn., Police Department, a veteran of dozens of undercover cases…..
I use facebook but I’m not a slave to the site. I don’t want to go into ‘paranoid mode’ just yet so as not to get ahead of myself on the matter. But as the saying goes, “An ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.”
If you want to read the whole article, click HERE.
Thank God it’s Friday! 😉